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tv   Nightline  ABC  November 30, 2012 11:35pm-12:00am PST

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of surgeries allowed her to go over 14 inches. one woman's story of defying the olds in the face of the ultimate growing pains. and, glacier rescue. in the steep clutches and frozen ridges in one of the most desolate places on oath, your team braves the ice with the search and rescue team saving lives at the top of the world. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," november 30th, 2012. >> good evening, i'm terry moran. tonight, a multimillion dollar mystery. while the rest of the country is tearing up their worthless lottery tickets in disappointment, the identity of one of two powerball winners remains illusive. a surveillance video, the only clue. well, with the jackpot worth
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over $580 million, that's a lot of reasons to be curious. abc's david wright brings us america's newest overnight millionaires. >> reporter: at a gas station in maryland, a mystery man checks his numbers and then dances a jig. could it be the powerball shuffle? >> he says, is this the right numbers? i said, yeah, man, you got them all. >> reporter: in a small town in missouri, at the high school where they first fell in love, cindy and mark hill today insisted that huge check won't change their lives all that much. >> we will still be going down to the corner cafe for breakfast or fish day, i can guarantee you that. we're as common as anybody. we just have a little bit more money. >> reporter: make that a lot more money. and it's probably wishful thinking. already, their neighbors in this town of 496 people can't help but see them differently. >> i'm living in a wealthy neighborhood now. >> reporter: they all say they're happy for them. >> life just got a little bit easier for them.
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especially in these hard times. >> reporter: cindy hill had been laid off from her job two years ago. she was scheduled for a job interview the morning the numbers came out. >> good luck. take a look at tonight's number. first, the number 5. >> reporter: now, she won't have to work another day in her life. same goes for her husband, mark, who's already quit his job at the local hot dog factory. he says his boss didn't believe him at first. >> he said, oh, you're kidding. i said, no. about five minutes later, he called back, he said, really? >> i said, yeah, really. >> reporter: mark plans to hang onto his old beaten up truck but has his eyes on a red camaro. cindy hill plans to focus on the kids, especially their youngest, jaden. >> jaden has always wanted to go to the beach, so, we may go some place where she can put her taupes in the sand. it's christmas time and we want to be home. we just want everything normal. >> reporter: what does jaden want for christmas? >> pony. >> reporter: what little girl doesn't? but now her parents can afford
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one. >> always going to remember that first day, those first hours, the first couple of weeks. so, you know, throw a party. have a fantastic time. have your friends over. have your family over. and just make it really, really fun. shortly after that, you're going to start building a team. >> reporter: a team, as in, an accou accounta accountant, a been shl adviser and a lawyer, people that can say no when everyone else is calling out for a handout. seattle financial adviser michael boone specializes in helping the suddenly wealthy. >> people just come out of the woodwork. i mean, people that you never, ever thought would come around looking for money look for money and it's not just people who know you. it's people who don't know you. >> reporter: the hims are enjoying the honeymoon stage. and somewhere in america, another powerball winner is quietly celebrating an equally good fortune. the gas and go store where they sold that second winning ticket -- >> this is the lucky machine, i guess. this is the one that did it. >> reporter: the place is
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buzzing with speculation. >> yeah. i hope it's someone that needs the money, and not some really rich money. >> reporter: why do you think the lottery captivates people so much? >> hope. you know, hope, economic times are tough right now. >> reporter: i wonder if you'll recognize the winner. >> i'm hoping i do, because a lot of people tell us that, if we sell them the winner, they're going to, you know, send some money our way. well -- time to step up, you know? >> reporter: maybe it's that guy at the maryland gas station, who was so excited about he checked his numbers that he drove off and forgot to buy gas. >> he wanted everybody to look, to check to see if he wasn't seeing things and he wasn't seeing things. it was the right numbers. >> reporter: then again, maybe not. today, we asked store manager bob to take a look at the maryland video. >> doesn't look familiar at all. and i don't recognize this person at all. >> reporter: whoever the arizona winner may be, they may well find that even powerball money can't buy happiness.
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>> florida figures show that lottery winners are three times more likely to declare bankruptcy than non-lottery winners. people are likely to end up in jail. they have an increased likelihood of dramatically bad things happening. >> reporter: then again, that sort of talk sounds like sour grapes for the rest of us. even if the chances their lives will be happier is just 50/50, the flip of a coin, it's better odds than the lottery. and these winners will have plenty of coins to flip. i'm david wright for "nightline" in phoenix. >> instant millionaires. thanks to david wright for that. well, just ahead, this is a fascinating story. she grew 14 inches taller with the help of a controversial series of surgeries. one woman's incredible journey, next. i had enough of feeling embarrassed about my skin.
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before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if, while on enbrel, you experience persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. if you've had enough, ask your dermatologist about enbrel.
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with terry moran. >> a lot of people wish they could be a couple of inches taller. but for one woman, that desire went far beyond a vanity dream. she was born with a form of dwarfism that made every day tasks a challenge. so, she chose to endure a series of extremely painful, risky and controversial surgeries, defying the odds and growing over a foot taller. abc's juju chang brings us the tory. ♪ happy birthday to you >> reporter: it's as if every birthday wish tiffanie ever made came true. >> thank you. >> reporter: but as a woman who once stood only 3'6", her childhood dreams play out in simple every day little victories. >> okay. ready? >> totally. >> driving. and we're off.
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marrying my dream guy. having a home. having just a normal life. you know, doing things that a lot of people take for granted. turning on a light switch, wishing my hands, cooking. that's what i wanted. and i feel like that was worth the risk. you know? all our nothing. >> reporter: it's all possible because tiffanie endured an excruciating and controversial series of limb-lentening surgeries that literally break the bones and force them to regrow longer. at a very tender age, tiffanie had to weigh the risks and rewards with a lifetime of consequences in the balance. how many surgeries do you think you had growing up? >> too many to count. >> reporter: tiffanie was born with a rare form of dwarfism. her body was typical size, but her arms and legs would never fully grow. >> and what's interesting about this photo is, look at the size of the box. compared to me. and it's a regular present. >> reporter: at age 8, she had
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her first surgery to gain alengh in her arms and legs. describe the pain. >> it hurt so much, you freeze. it almost is like, if you scream, it's going to hurt worse. you know, all you can do is just kind of let the tears fall and deal with it. >> reporter: tiffanie wanted to do the ghastly surgery again. and this time, ignore the recommended four inch maximum limit. why did you feel so strongly that you wanted her to have it? >> it was all about independence. it was doing things on her own, brushing her own hair. my biggest fear was her being dependent on others for her care, because, let's face it, j gerry and i won't be around forever. >> reporter: but gerry really struggles and opposed the surgery. and it was torture, he says, to see her suffer. >> very nerve wracking. she would cry out. it was tough. >> reporter: and, as a parent, watching your child cry out in pain -- what is that like?
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>> it's horrible. i get choked up just thinking about it. >> reporter: tiffanie gained an additional ten inches of height. >> took about 14 hours. >> reporter: this doctor was tiffanie's orthopedic surgeon and allowed her to go beyond the safety recommendations. what allowed tiffanie to gain 14 inches of height, which seems like an unbelievable number? >> incredible tenacity. tiffanie has incredible tenacity. she -- there were many occasions when she and i talked about stopping the procedure and accepting a compromise. six inchesov or eight or ten. she wanted to keep going with it. >> reporter: at the end of the day, what helps you get through it? >> i kept my journal. i was as honest with myself, if i wanted to die, then i felt like, you know, that's what i wanted to do, i wrote it down. >> reporter: her journal turned into a memoir she defiantly
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called "dwarf." in it, she chronicles her no pain, no gain view of life and how surprisingly grateful she is for the experience. >> if you go therough struggle, if you know what sacrifice is, it makes you that much braver. >> reporter: she got a lot of criticism for people that point out that little people of america do not support the risky surgery. and there are those who think this is a surgery that shouldn't be done. >> this is an operation that potentially can dramatically change your life for the better. it does have its risks and those who advocate against it have a legitimate reason for concern. >> reporter: reza was born with dwarfism and says he regrets that his father pushed him back in the '80s to have it. he was 12. >> i did not want to undergo painful procedure which, in my mind, i was worried that, what if it fails? for a few inches, i didn't want to damage my life. i was happy with who i am. >> reporter: unlike tiffanie,
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reza says the surgery left him paralyzed. >> before, it was just an average dwarf, i could run around, i could play sports, i could swim and do things. i would have rather been three feet tall than be, you know, a few inches taller, with all the complications. >> reporter: tiffanie says she has no regrets. >> i don't feel like i was being reckless. i was aware of the risk. >> reporter: her strength and risk taking were admired by a nearly six foot tall marine named eric. why did you fall in love with her? >> oh, how i didn't, that's probably the better question. she's so powerful and so strong and being in the military, you need somebody that, you know, she's been through her own battles, you know, so, she knows exactly how to support me through mine. >> reporter: they've been happily married for four years, and now have a baby boy. tiffanie is in a new role she never expected. >> it's just wonderful to know that i can take care of my son. it's a hat i never thought i'd
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wear. now i wear it with pride. >> reporter: tiffanie seems to personify the military's fighting fill lphilosophy. adapt and overcome. >> i already have everything i've ever wanted. >> more of it. >> more. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm juju chang in jacksonville, north carolina. >> happy birthday to her. what a great story. thank, juju. next up, our team joins the search and rescue suede patrolling the treacherous glaciers at the top of the world. [ knock on door ]
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cool, you found it. wow. nice place. yeah. [ chuckles ] the family thinks i'm out shipping these. smooth move. you used priority mail flat-rate boxes. if it fits, it ships for a low, flat rate. paid for postage online and arranged a free pickup. and i'm gonna track them online, too. nice. between those boxes and this place, i'm totally staying sane this year. do i smell snickerdoodles? maybe. [ timer dings ] gotta go. [ male announcer ] priority mail flat rate boxes. online pricing starts at $5.15. only from the postal service.
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iceland's famous glaciers are an icy terrain littered with hidden cracks and crevasses. dangerous for any climber. for the unlucky ones that find themselves lost, their hope for survival is one expert search and rescue team. jeffrey kofman joins them for an adventure at the top of the world. >> reporter: there's a reason
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they call this place iceland. it is covered in glaciers. and for much of the year, it is covered in snow. no wonder those little icelandic horses have such thick hair. it's freezing cold. no easy place to get around, with long nights and short days and very few people. lots of people get lost. meet the ice czars, the iceland association of search and rescue. there's nothing quite like it in the world. with no army, no national police, this is how the lost get found here on top of the world. a volunteer force of 18,000 people. that, in a country with a population of just over 300,000. why do you do this? >> i don't know, i think it's adrenaline and, you know, somebody has to do it.
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>> reporter: we tagged along for a training mission with one of the legendary ice czars teams. this group, from the tiny town. they have to raise money to buy all of their equipment. in a place where winter can be long and lonely, rescue squads have become a part of the national fabric. it's easy to see why. that's a carpenter by day, the rescue team leader, 24 hours a day. there are no paid members of this -- >> no, no. no. >> reporter: and if you don't do it, is there a government service that can come in and do it? >> let me think -- no. >> reporter: the volunteers need a pick tim to practice on. so, they decide i'm the perfect fall guy. >> he's breathing. he's unconscious. we have to hourry. >> reporter: i understand that. that was icelandic for one, two, three. there's a reason they do these
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training sessions. what's the problem? >> we have -- we were having a bit of a problem with the yellow line. it's stretched too much. >> reporter: after a long and cold delay, the ropes are rerigged and -- all right, i think i'm going up. this takes a huge amount of effort on the part of the rescuers. a huge amount of trust on my part. okay, that last bit was a little bit unnerving. feeling that you could just roll over down the cliff. but i'm here. and the practice isn't over. there's an ice wall to be climbed. they're going to show me how easy it is. or not. this is a lot of work. all right, that's why we have a rope. i have to get my head up. well. that was fun.
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there. okay. how do i get down here? well, at least i know who to call if i need help. i'm jeffrey kofman for "nightline" on the glacier in iceland. >> well done, jeffrey. thanks for that. thank you for watching abc news. we hope you check in for "good morning america." they're working while you're sleeping. weaver alwa we're always online at jimmy kimmel is next. have a great weekend. up next on "jimmy kimmel live" -- >> when the food comes out on thanksgiving, i eat like the cookie monster. i don't eat. i just grab the hafood with my hands and smash it all over my face. >> tim allen. >> we had an aunt that would come to the kid's table and say, you know, your uncle george? never touches me. >> manny pacquiao. and "unnecessary censorship."


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